Ed Montano, sailing with Trevor Bach claim the third straight Buccaneer 18 Class championships for the “Atrevida” crew.  Ed, who has won two previous championships sailing with his wife Shannon said after winning, “This is more than a racing class, this is family”.

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————————————————— Ed & Trevor making their way upwind ————————————————–

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Ed & Trevor sailed the most consistent regatta of the fleet finishing no lower than 4th in the regatta.  Though the team which seemed bulletproof after their dominating win in 2016 (9 straight first place finishes) knew early this regatta was going to be more challenging.

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The first race of the series was won by Western Carolina Sailing Club’s Ronnie & David Ashmore on “Vespula”.  It was a light air start to a very diverse regatta.  “We played the middle and wanted to sail conservatively” said Ed after the first day, “we knew the corners would pay off big, but being on the wrong side would be more costly than playing it safe”

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This regatta was sailed by multiple previous winners, including David Spira with Ty Whitman sailing “Altitude” and Montano’s fleetmates John Weis and Jay Foght sailing “Blind Squirrel”.  Weis and Foght are consistent leaders in the class, and make great sparring partners for Montano.   Spira has amassed 7 championships so far in his career,  topped only by class legends Greg & Duane Cole, a father son team who’ve claimed 8.

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In addition to the past champs, several other teams showed promise, and have been on the rise.  “American Spirit” sailed by Jeff Neurauter and Heather Howard who were 3rd in 2016 are light air specialists whose keen course awareness and all around speed make them a threat in any condition.

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By the end of the first day Ed & Trevor had won one of the five races and held onto a commanding lead on the fleet due to deep finishes by the rest of the leaders.  It looked like they were going to run away with it.

Saturday however brought new stronger winds and new challenges for Atrevida as “WASABI” sailed by Jimmy Yurko & Evan Scot claimed first in three of the four races sailed, including an exhilarating triangle course in planing conditions where only the leaders opted to carry their spinnakers on the fast reaches.  This performance pulled them within a point of the leaders.

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Sunday’s conditions were a repeat of Friday morning.  The light breeze was oscillating from the north and northwest providing big shifts and challenges for the fleet.  It was obvious that the fleet was eager to go out and race, as everyone got to the course early, and the aggressive starts for the first race of Sunday prompted the race committee to start the remainder of Sunday’s races under the U starting penalty flag.  Anyone who crossed the starting line during the final minute of the starting sequence would be penalized and disqualified from the race.

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Atrevida and Blind Squirrel had strong performances in all three races.  Atrevida held first and Blind Squirrel climbed to second for the regatta.

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Beyond the leader board there was much to talk about.  Scott & Logan Mogle were plagued with equipment breakdowns which kept them from competing on day 1, and consequently finished 15th in the regatta…however these newcomers to the class have had their boat just one year, and are clearly sailors to watch.  Their scores DO NOT reflect the limits of this team’s capabilities, but only the beginning.  Scott & Logan led the fleet at many mark roundings and were all around fast on the course.  We can expect to see much more of them in the very near future.  Michael Birnbaum sailing with Tony Chapman showed he’s got what it takes to get out to the front of the pack by grabbing onto a 3rd place finish in race 12.  Dave Johnson & Elayne Hunter are fleet leaders and innovators in Alaska’s fleet that now has 12 Buccs racing weekly, we can expect some awesome coming from them.

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The bottom line is this fleet is filled from bottom to top with great people, great leaders and great friends.

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Yes, he is a good man, and a pirate!

 

 

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